The Emmaus Hike

After Jesus’ resurrection, but before people understood what had happened, everyone was confused, especially his disciples. Since Jesus died the evening of the Sabbath, his body was not prepared properly for burial. So the morning after the Sabbath, some women of the community of his friends came to do that proper, common preparation. They found the tomb open and empty. And they spoke with an angel who said He is alive! Wow, that’s something new and unexpected! The women went back and told the men disciples who absolutely didn’t believe the women’s testimony. Because what they said was so new and unexpected, “nonsense” is the Biblical description. A few of the men went to the tomb to see for themselves. They found the tomb empty, just like the women said. The story in Luke 24 says Peter “went away wondering… what had happened.”

Later that day a couple of the guys went walking to the next town, about 7 miles up the road. That’s almost a 2 hour walk, I suppose. They didn’t have iPods so they weren’t listening to music or a podcast. They walked along and talked together. They, too, were wondering what had just happened to their beloved leader who had just died.  A stranger joined them. But he didn’t seem to know anything about all these events, so they told him all that had happened and how confused and disappointed they were.

Then, as they walked along, the stranger began to explain the scriptures from beginning to end and showed them how it all fit together with what happened to their friend. Their hearts burned with excitement and wonder, but they didn’t know why… until the stranger gave thanks for the meal and they knew immediately it was Jesus, the beloved leader who was dead, but now was alive, talking and walking with them!  

Grief can be like that sometimes too. Maybe you’re confused and disappointed. Disappointed about doctors, drivers, family responses, neighbors and strangers (what they said or didn’t say), and with God Himself. Confused about how the life and death of your child fits with God’s promise to bless your family. Just like the disciples, you’re so deeply sad because one you love died. Your loss is so profound. You may be confused about how to live now.

I’m going to suggest that there are also similarities on Jesus’ side of the conversation. The Lord can and wants to break into your confusion with hope. He wants to open your understanding of what He is doing in the world at large and your family in particular.

I suggest you walk and talk with someone who wants to listen. Go about your daily activities and think about things. I suggest you break bread with loving friends. I suggest that you mull over all the details, telling someone who will listen. Tell the Lord Himself, over and over.  As you are doing these everyday things, I believe He will help clear some of the confusion. I believe the Lord wants to reveal to you some degree of understanding of the meaning of your child’s life and death, and of His presence with you. I believe He will show Himself to you in some way. It may be just a small revelation but it can make a huge difference for you. Clearing the confusion, making your heart sing, giving you deeper intimacy with Him and insight into His character. The disciples’ hearts burned with hope as their eyes were opened to who was walking with them. May your heart also burn with hope and peace.

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)   This whole story is told in Luke 24:13-35.